Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Updated Living DNA Results - Y DNA fixed

In my most recent post, I reported that Living DNA had provided an anomalous Y-DNA reading, assigning a Haplogroup C, rather than an expected N.

Living DNA has rerun my results (probably at the prompting of the amazing Katie Welka), and there are new results.

The new results show N-M46 (N1C1) with a subclade of N-L550. This is consistent with the test results from Family Tree DNA, which narrow it down further due to some separate SNP tests that I had them run a few years back.


The atDNA admixture is a bit different.

Europe (East)53.9%
Northeast Europe35.5%
East Balkans1.8%
Finland and Western Russia1.7%
Great Britain and Ireland35.9%
Southwest Scotland and Northern Ireland10.6%
North Yorkshire5.8%
Southeast England4.4%
Northwest Scotland1.8%
South England1.1%
Europe (North and West)8.8%
Asia (South)1.4%

Most obviously, there is now a South Asian component - 1.4% Pashtun. Something similar used to pop up in Ancestry.com results.

That Pashtun came at the expense of the other regions, which relatively didn't shift much, although individual subregions changed around. For example, the French part is new, mostly taking from the Scandanavian portion

Individual sub-regions gained or lost up to 3%.

I still think they over-emphasize British influence, but I think that is because of the nature of their reference panels, as well as the distinct possibility that my Irish ancestors were more recent to Ireland than might be expected.


This also brings up the mysterious Mordovian component, which rose from 3.0 to 3.5.  I have no obvious Mordovian ancestry. I am not saying that there is no connection - rather, that there may be interesting genetic relationships at play. 


These results are consistent enough with what I expected that I wouldn't have thought much if I had seen them originally. However, on the atDNA side, the original was actually closer to what I was expecting.

I will continue to monitor all of the companies, as they continue to tweak their algorithms for their admixtures.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Living DNA Results Analyzed - Something is Wrong in England

I just received my DNA test results from LivingDNA, and wow, are they odd. Not "this must be someone else" odd, but "they are doing something really weird" odd.

Let me walk through this.


In terms of my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the results are exactly what I would expect: H1u. That is consistent with my complete mtDNA test from Family Tree DNA.


In terms of my Y DNA, things are totally whack. (Because I am transgender, I have Y chromosomes, and I can test them.)

Back in the day, when Ancestry DNA had a Y-chromosome test, I came back with an N.  

Then I tested with 23andMe, and they have me as an N-M178. I transferred the results to FamilyTree DNA, which came back with the same. With further testing at Family Tree DNA, I have it narrowed down to N-Y6076  

The N-Y7076 listing suggests that my father's line is originally Balkan, which is consistent with his family being from northeast Poland.

Living DNA has me as a C. 

Even I didn't realize just how far apart those are until I did some research today. C is primarily from Oceania and parts of Asia, and is basically aboriginal. These two haplogroups moved apart before everyone left Africa.

As interesting as it may be to have something totally different from my 100% European background, it is inconsistent with the paper genealogy as well as tests from other companies, which are consistent with the paper trail.

So the Y-DNA test is clearly, unambiguously, and preposterously wrong.


Let's look at the autosomal (atDNA) admixture:


Europe (East)54.7%
Northeast Europe32.7%
East Balkans4.2%
Finland and Western Russia3.1%
Great Britain and Ireland36.3%
Southwest Scotland and Northern Ireland7.8%
Southeast England4.6%
North Yorkshire3.7%
South England3%
Northwest Scotland2.9%
Europe (North and West)8.9%

The atDNA tests are generally consistent with my background and the other tests. 

The paper trail is clear that I am 3/4 Eastern European and 1/4 Irish. That is where my great-grandparents (or their parents) were born.  Pure and simple.

Living NA has me as majority Eastern European, which is good. Together with Northern Europe and Germanic, brings me up to about 2/3, with the other 1/3 being Irish and UK.  

As I suspected, the results really skew to overstating my UK heritage (LivingDNA is based out of England, and has very well developed reference pools there). 

In the early 1800s, all of my mother's fathers ancestors lived in Ireland. 100% of them. 

My admixture from Living DNA has 17.9% from Ireland and adjacent Scotland, and a whopping 18.4% from England and Scotland!

Looking just at England, we are at 15.5%, from areas with lower Irish immigrant pools.

That is about 1/6, or at least one great-grandparent.

Whilst the Brady and McCue families lived in England for a while, none married locally. They were Irish, through and through.

There are a couple of possibilities:
  • There was a mis-attributed paternity on the Brady line (i.e., an affair).
  • I have totally screwed up my Brady research.
  • The test is way off base.
Given my experience with the Y-chromosome, I am inclined to think it was the latter.

(Interestingly, the amount attributed to Ireland is fairly consistent across the tests.) 

By Contrast, here are my current 23andMe numbers:

  • European

  • Eastern European
  • British & Irish
  • Balkan
  • Ashkenazi Jewish
  • Broadly Northwestern European
  • Broadly Southern European
  • Broadly European
  • Western Asian & North African

  • North African & Arabian

  • And here are my current Ancestry.com numbers:

  • Ethnicity Estimate

     Europe East
     Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Romania
     Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland & Lithuania

     Ulster, Ireland

     Low Confidence Regions

     Great Britain
     Finland/Northwest Russia
     Asia South
     Europe West
  • Ireland/Scotland/Wales

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Musings on a Frustration

OK, so I haven't posted as frequently as I promised. I need to stop worrying about whether I have clever graphics, important messages, etc.

Today I am going to just go off on a rant about something that keeps popping up in my research - I need to coin a term for this. (I actually have things like this is in my family tree, and in my wife's.)

Genealogists frequently look at U.S. Census records, which will list the family members in age order.
So we will see something like this:

1900  Hootsmythe, Zebediah     33
          Hootsmythe, Truly           28
          Child A                               6
          Child B                              3
          Child D                              6 mo.

So then I will look at the next census:

1910  Hootsmythe, Zeb      43
          Hootsmythe, Tru      38
          Child A                     16
          Child B                     13
          Child C                     11
          Child D                      9
          Child E                      4

And then at the next one:

1920  Hootsmythe, Zebediah W    53
          Hootsmythe, Truly C           47 (women seem to get 9 years older every decade in the census!)
          Child B                                 23
          Child D                                19
          Child E                                 14

OK. So Child A grew up and moved out.

But what about Child C?

This raises all sorts of possibilities.

Could these be different families? No, the names are unique enough (there are no other Zebediah and Truly Hootsmythes around), and the ages line up otherwise. They live in the same location. You're pretty sure that it is them.

Child C is older than Child D, so should have been in the 1900 U.S. Census. They would have been about a year old - too young to be off doing something elsewhere.

Maybe they got left off the list somehow. Stuff happens.

So who is Child C?

There is a good chance they are the niece or nephew of one of the couple, likely the wife. So you look for unwed sisters of the parents.

No luck there...Zebediah has only brothers, and Truly is truly a mystery.

Now what?

Where do you add them to your tree?

What about on Ancestry.com?

You can't ignore them - they are right there on the U.S. Census. And you don't want to forget about them.

Do you just have them as unattached people? But what if they really are good ole Zeb's and Tru's kid?

OK, I think that the Genealogical Proof Standard would require that I leave Child C off pending a reasonably exhaustive search, but note this somehow in any research reports.

That just doesn't work well in cousin-baiting.



Monday, January 22, 2018

Having a Blast at SLIG!

I am away this week at the 23rd Annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG 2018), having a great time.

SLIG is an amazing event...380 students in over a dozen week long classes about a wide variety of subjects. (It is a progenitor to GRIP, which I attended last year and will likely attend again this year.)

Of course, being a masochist, I signed up for the toughest one, Course 10 - Thomas W. Jones' (long string of letters omitted) Advanced Genealogical Methods class.

It sells out like a rock concert, in minutes. It seems like everyone who is serious about genealogy takes it at some point. The class is known for the heavy homework load, which he says averages 2-4 hours a night.

We took our class photo this morning, because he said he wanted us to do it before we are all worn out. He reminded us to get some sleep this week.

I just had to take this class. Someday, Tom won't be teaching this anymore, and it will be one of those things that future generations will hear stories about from the old-timers (like I'll be). A retired career college professor, he knows how to teach a class. He has taught this one for a number of years. I would hate to have missed out on the opportunity to learn from the Master.

Every now and then, I have to answer a survey question about my level of experience in genealogy. I have always felt that I just couldn't check off "advanced genealogist" until I had this one under my belt.

10% of the way in, and already getting a little winded from it, I feel like I will be ready to say that I am an advanced genealogist by next week.

Oh, and we had a great picture of the CGS crowd, which is posted to the CGS Facebook group now.